Ask The Biologist



By Bob Humphrey

There are lots of predators in the woods, and most like venison.

QUESTION: I was checking trail camera photos and had lots of fawns. I also noticed more bear pictures than I’ve seen before. That got me to wondering if bears prey on deer, especially fawns. –Joe D.

ANSWER: Bears are omnivorous, meaning their diet includes both meat and plants, and they do indeed prey on deer, especially fawns. In fact, a Penn State study found bears kill as many fawns as coyotes, possibly more.

Obviously, predation levels depend on both predator and prey densities, and predation will be higher where there is more of one or the other, or both. The good news is this has been going on for eons, and predation rates are factored into the population models used to monitor and set harvest levels.

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Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd